Respect Cannot Come From Force

It seems self-explanatory but it isn’t. It is impossible to force another human being to respect something or someone. So what is the point of forcing anyone to stand, sit, or twerk for the flag?

What are people angered and insecure about when someone kneels for a flag? What are they angry about? Why do they care? That whoever it is does not “respect the country”? What does “respect the country” mean? How does one “respect a country”? I understand respecting people. But what is “respect a country”?

I understand that not standing for the flag disrespects people who invaded foreign countries and planted that flag in those countries. But what if you really do not respect the people that did that? To paraphrase Louis CK, if you go into another country with a gun and start shooting people and you get shot and killed, it’s really not so weird. Maybe it’s a tiny bit your fault?

Do you really have to respect everyone who invaded a foreign country because they were “just following orders”? We’ve heard that one before. I don’t respect them. Forcing a person who does not respect them, to stand for the flag, won’t force him to respect them.

If a person doesn’t steal from anyone, lives his life without bothering anyone else, and fulfills all his commitments, but kneels for the flag, does he still “respect the country”? Must he really be ostracized because he doesn’t like the flag?

I don’t stand for the prayer for the State of Israel. If I am the shliach tzibur for Musaf, the gabbai knows I will not say the prayer and he will have to do it if he wants to. He’s OK with that. I’m OK with that. We don’t fight over it. We get on with our lives. We don’t freak out over doing or not doing the prayer because the people in the shul respect me and I respect them. I just don’t do the prayer, and people are mature enough not to take it personally, because really, it has nothing to do with them.

Can one respect a country but not its government? Why can’t people make this distinction ? For someone who sees unjust wars when he looks at the flag, must he still stand? What will his standing accomplish?

Someone who just doesn’t like the flag because he doesn’t like red and blue together because it makes him nauseous or his father beat him with a red, white, and blue whip as a child, what is the purpose of forcing him to stand?

Who cares why people don’t stand for a flag? Why does it matter? Nobody can explain this to me in any way that makes sense.

Something about a culture war. That’s what people say. They immediately go to war war war. If not standing for a flag can start a war where people kill each other over it, the culture of everyone in that country is a תרבות רעה, or a bad culture. They will kill each other over something if it isn’t a flag, and this will happen in the USA when the money runs out and the run on bonds begins.

Forcing people to go through the motions of an act of respect when they do not respect the thing in their own minds, is counterproductive and just childish. America is led by a child and he’s riling up the other children into a giant national temper tantrum over a flag.

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Sit for the Star Spangled Banner and Put Trump In His Place!

Demanding that football players stand up for the national anthem or get fired is absolutely creepy. This is the chance for all people in every stadium this NFL Sunday to proudly sit down and keep their hats on and show this (and I don’t use this hackneyed word often) fascist sicko Trump that he does not dictate the lives of NFL players.

How about this idea: Stop singing the banner song at all sporting events! You want to keep politics out of sports, just ban the song! Here’s some historical context before we all get our panties in a bunch about how that is sacrilege.

If I were an NFL player I would definitely sit down, as I sit down for the prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel. I implore all NFL players not to stand this week, just to spite that son of a bitch.

If Trump is widely disobeyed here it would be a very healthy thing for the country. America is not some Mussolini dictatorship just yet. It’s getting there but there is still some liberty left in the place. This is the time to prove it. People have the right to express themselves even if, especially if, their opinions are wrong, or right, or in between, or total non sequiturs.

Trump should be impeached for threatening first amendment rights.

Here are the two national anthem renditions I’d cheer and stand for, proudly!